Scarcity of Resources highlighted in EEF report as a sustainability threat

In this latest report from the UK’s manufacturers’ organisation, the EEF, it claims that the UK, and that implied Ireland and Europe by extension, is very exposed to critical disturbances in Resources and raw materials availability. This will have an adverse impact on manufacturing.

Why has this happened ?

Well, the global growth of middle-class consumers along with the global increased demand for all commodities  and a western lifestyle drive prices up and deplete resources at a faster rate. We are over-reliant on China for strategic supplies  and this leaves the Ireland, UK and Europe very ‘vulnerable’.

This thorough report  is filled with many examples of action by governments elsewhere. The EEF sets out key trends that will shape material supply over the next twenty years, explores how China, Germany, US, Japan and South Korea are responding and considers how this can inform our strategy to improve resilience to future material supply risk.

Recommendations we can embrace.

In its recommendations we fully endorse the idea that ‘ re-manufacturing should not be descriminated against’ .  We also  agree that ‘For too long we have paid lip service to treating waste as a resource’ and we still fail to realise the full economic potential from using ‘waste’.

As we approach the end of an economic era,  and slide into the circular economy we simply cannot afford to be left under-prepared and overexposed to disruption in resource and materials supply. Action is needed now and the report outlines many actionable items that policy makers would do well to initiate.

The writing is clearly on the wall as one salient fact makes clear. In 2010, the EU deemed 14 materials to have supply risks. This has now increased to 20.

Read the full report here.